here are my 15 tips and tricks to speed up your workflow in most 3D packages software. I will demonstrate it in Max and Maya we model smarter not harder.
1.START FROM A CYLINDER
start from a more difficult part of the mesh and work your way up. for example, in the picture below if we create a box extrude the edges and try to make edges round and cylindrical it would be difficult and takes time but create a cylinder in the first place then turn it to a box would be very easy to do.
2.EXPORT AND IMPORT
when importing the objects from Maya to 3ds go to file import and in geometry tab check the smoothing groups now we will be able to change the smoothing group inside of 3ds max.
we can reset the normals by adding edit normal modifier then select all the normals then hit reset button. its the same function as lock and unlock normals in Maya. ((sometimes imported mesh get messed up and Xray won’t work in Max.to fix this create a cube and attach it to the imported mesh now delete the cube ))
when importing the object from 3ds max to Maya go to file import and select the file type as FBX and in options go to geometry and check unlock normals now we can harden and soften the edges in Maya and also we can lock and unlock normals in mesh display tab.
3.USING MIRROR TOOL
instead of creating the whole mesh start creating one quarter 1/4 of the mesh then use the mirror on x and then mirror on z. be sure to center the pivot before using the mirror tool.
use symmetry or mirror tool in Maya to duplicate the parts of the mesh and mirror it at the opposite side. for example, here we want to place a screw at each side of the main object we add a symmetry modifier and mirror it 2 times at x and y-axis. be sure pivot is at the center of the main object.
5. QUAD CLEAN TOPOLOGY IS THE KEY
if we want to create complex shapes with tons of details without too much hassle a good clean geometry with good even quad topology with enough edges can go along way especially for animations or just creating a smooth high poly object with lots of details. for clean geometry in Max check for overlapping vertices by using Xview weld all the vertices by low value and go to utilities and reset the Xform and reset the normals with edit normal modifier.in Maya, use mesh clean up tool and merge all the vertices by low value.
6.IMPORTANTNCE OF PRIMITIVES
choosing the right primitive can speed up ur workflow from the start, for instance, we can make a lot of shapes with a cylinder primitive by just pulling the vertices in one axis.
7.USE CREASE SET
Complex hard-surface models (giant robots, vehicles, buildings…) are likely to have a large number of edges: it is extremely useful to organize these edges into sets with descriptive names. in crease set, all the Edges share the same sharpness value and one of the benefits of having many edges share the same sharpness values is that it enables very powerful optimizations that mean faster renders & less memory.
despite the power and flexibility of crease set tool sharping the edges by adding edges loops or bevel the edges are time-consuming and need a lot of clean.
8.FFD MODIFIER or LATTICE TOOL
using FFD 222 modifier in Max or lattice tool in Maya at 2 divisions we can easily move the edges in the perfect angular degree we can create interesting details this way for example image below we can create diamond shape faces with just moving all the edges in one axis.
in Maya select the edges you want to move then go to DEFORM>LATTICE and apply the lattice with 2 divisions in all axis now right-click outside of the box and select lattice point to move the edges.
9.THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
we can extrude outward instead of inward and get the same effect .when modeling tries to think outside of the box, for instance, in the image below instead of extruding outside faces inward we can extrude inner faces outward and get the same effect without any cleanup and welding.
10.SCALING ON NORMAL AXIS
scaling the mesh on the normal axis can be useful when trying to create a cage a for baking the low poly or another occasion .in max we can use push modifier and in Maya, we select all the vertices ctrl+shift+right click then go to axis > normal and move the vertices on N axis.
most time bridging the edges in cylindrical shape won’t work but we can work around it by selecting all the edges and deselect the two edges in the middle then apply the bridge.
when we want to delete multiple faces on the high poly object we can use ring and loop or grow selection or select by an angle but if we want to delete a big chunk of the mesh or separate and detach it we can delete around the border edges or faces then select the element and delete or separate it.
in max select the faces with face by angle and hold shift and selecting the edge selection in the selection tab and it will select only the border edges witch is amazing for creating the high poly mesh. now we can harden the edges or chamfer the edges and add support edge loop to hard edges of the mesh.we can do the same thing in Maya modeling toolkit by holding ctrl+shift and selecting the edge selection to convert the selection to edge perimeter.
use the point helpers to precisely adding objects in a row with an even gap in between on the surface and using align tool on the x and y-axis we align it to the point helper.
in 3ds max holding alt while changing any values, it will be more sensitive, and dragging values will be slow on the opposite holding ctrl accelerate it.in Maya, we can change drag speed slow to fast by clicking on the circle on top of the manipulator toolbar.